The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.

Raku Chawan by Suwa Sozan & Priest Sohan Gempo

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1920: Item # 1469253

Please refer to our stock # OC057 when inquiring.
The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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A small Raku style Chawan by Suwa Sozan I decorated with a mountain by Daitokuji priest Sohan Gempo (Murasakino Shoun) enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The mountain image in a single dark stroke is accented by fluctuating knife marks in the clay surface like a blowing breeze. The bowl is 12 cm (4-3/4 inches) diameter and in excellent condition. Close in age and having come to the old capitol from other provinces at roughly the same time, these two were long term compatriots in Kyoto. both passed away in the same year.
Sohan Gempo, (1848-1922) was born into a Shinto family, however entered the Buddhist priesthood at the age of 12 at Kogen-ji, Kanazawa. After a brief period at Empukuji in Kyoto, he moved to Yokohama and received inka from Nakahara Nantenbo. It was in 1898 that he would be asked to take over the training facility at Empukuji. After a brief sojourn in China he came back to Japan and was appointed abbot of Daitokuji, one of Kyotos most important Zen temples, where he stayed until his death in 1922. He often signed his works (Murasakino) Shoun. An accomplished poet and calligrapher, for more information on this important priest see The Art of 20th Century Zen by Audrey Yoshiko Seio and Stephen Addiss (2000) or recently published Zenmi—a Taste of Zen: Paintings, Calligraphy, and Ceramics from the Riva Lee Asbell Collection.
Sozan I (1852-1922) was born in Kutani country, present day Ishikawa prefecture, where he initially studied before moving to Tokyo in 1875. Over the next 25 years he would gravitate between Tokyo and Kanazawa, working at various kilns and research facilities. He again relocated, this time to Kyoto in 1900 to manage the Kinkozan Studio before establishing his own. His name became synonymous with celadon and refined porcelain and was one of only five potters to be named Teishitsu Gigei-in. The Teishitsu Gigei-in were members of the Imperial Art Academy, Perhaps in modern terms one might call them the predecessors to the Living National Treasures. However unlike the LNT, there were only five Pottery artists ever named Teishitsu Gigei-in, Ito Tozan, Suwa Sozan, Itaya Hazan, Miyagawa Kozan, and Seifu Yohei III. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter upon his death. He is held in the Kyoto National Museum among many others.